by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
Here we are at the Fourth of July. Are you enjoying your summer so far? Are you looking for some new things to do? We have new books at the library that can lead you into some fun summer activities.
Keep Out! Build Your Own Backyard Clubhouse sounds like a fun time for kids and dads. The book takes readers step by step from gathering the right tools and materials to building the roof and doing the finishing work. It’s written for both kids and adults, with ideas for customizing your project.
If cooking is your idea of fun, check out Put ‘em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide and Cookbook: Creative Ways to Put ‘em Up, Tasty Ways to Use ‘em Up. The growing season is behind schedule this year, but strawberries could be your first project out of the book. Some of the recipes sound pretty interesting, like five-spice plum sauce, blueberry ketchup, and maraschino cherries. Can you really make those at home?!
For many people, summer means camping. If you’d like some advice before you give it a try or if you want to improve your experience of roughing it, take a look at Camping’s Top Secrets: A Lexicon of Expert Camping Tips. We have the 25th anniversary version of the book, which just came out in March. It covers the whole experience, including things like forecasting the weather, treating drinking water, handling animal encounters, and using maps and GPS. Maybe if I read it sometime, camping won’t seem like so much work. But I doubt it.
If you’d rather drive around and see interesting scenery on your vacation (me, me!), try the National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways: The 300 Best Drives in the U.S. The book describes 300 scenic routes all around the United States, including history and points of interest. This one was also just published in March, so it’s very up-to-date. Check out the department of transportation website for each state you’re visiting, of course, for the most up-to-date information on road construction, which could throw a wrench into your plan for a beautiful drive.
Looking for something different in your travels? We have books that guide you to the less-traveled, less-crowded places. We have brand-new Off the Beaten Path books about Connecticut, Colorado, and Georgia. We also have National Geographic’s Secrets of the National Parks: The Experts’ Guide to the Best Experiences Beyond the Tourist Trail. This book seems like a great idea for those of us who have seen the main areas of places like the Badlands and Wind Cave many times and would like to find something we haven’t seen before.
Do you like to go out to eat at interesting restaurants during your summer trips? Guy Fieri’s new book Diners, Drive-Ins, Dives: The Funky Finds in Flavortown: America’s Classic Joints and Killer Comfort Food can give you plenty of interesting ideas. A few of them are right in the Twin Cities because several of the people who work on his show are from there, so you can visit some of the Food Network star’s favorite restaurants with just a short drive.
There’s plenty of summer left to get going on any of these activities. Or just stop in to get some light summer entertainment in the form of a thriller, a mystery, or a romance novel. We’ll have a display of some of those “beach reads” near our movies this month.